GORHAM - Senior forward Haley Jordan (Falmouth, Maine) scored a team-high 15 points to lead the 14th-ranked University of Southern Maine Huskies to a narrow 58-56 win over the Keene State College Owls in a Little East Conference women's basketball game Saturday afternoon at Hill Gymnasium in Gorham, Maine.
The Huskies overcame a seven-minute scoreless stretch late in second half a two-point deficit with just over a minute to play to earn their 20th win of the season and improve to 20-1 overall and 9-1 in the Little East Conference. The loss drops the Owls to 2-8 in the LEC and 7-13 overall.
Jordan was 5-for-13 with a pair of threes to pace the Huskies. She had six rebounds, two assists and a steal. Sophomore forward Rebecca Knight (Alfred, Maine/McAuley) added 12 points and 11 rebounds for her fourth double-double of the season. Senior guard Nicole Garland (Portland, Maine/Deering) and junior guard Erin McNamara (West Newbury, Mass./Pentucket Regional) each had nine points. Senior forward Jordan Grant (Concord, N.H.) had seven points, seven rebounds, three assists and a game-high four steals.
Keene State sophomore forward Courtney Roberts (Sutton, Mass.) had a game-high 22 points and 10 rebounds, scoring five times her average of 4.2 points per game to pace the Owls. Roberts was 8-for-15 from the field and 7-for-11 from the free throw line, scoring many of her points off of her seven offensive rebounds. Senior guard Siobhan Carnell (Quincy, Mass./North Quincy) added 11 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Despite shooting a solid 42.5 percent from the field for the first 30 minutes of the game and holding a solid 14-point, 52-38, lead with 9:16 remaining, the Huskies found themselves trailing the Owls 56-54 with 1:17 to play. After a jumper from Jordan to put USM ahead by 14, the Huskies went ice-cold over the next six minutes and 12 seconds as the Owls strung together a 14-0 run led by 10 points from Roberts. A traditional three-point play from Roberts on a layup and a free throw, KSC pulled itself even with the Huskies 52-52 with 5:12 to play, capping the 14-0 spurt.
Both teams were then unsuccessful in their possessions over the next two minutes before one free throw from Jordan put USM ahead 53-52 with 3:04 remaining ending its scoring drought, but Carnell hit a mid-range jumper to give the Owls their first lead since early in the opening half, 54-53, with 2:49 to play in response. Grant then hit one of two free throws for the Huskies for a 54-54 score, but the Owls' Carnell canned two free throws to lead 56-54 with 1:17 to play. Carnells' two free throws marked the end a of an 18-2 run for the Owls; however it was the last points the Owls would score as the Huskies managed to put the game away in the closing minute. After a pair of missed layups from Grant and Knight, Jordan was able to secure an offensive board and pull USM even 56-56 with 32 seconds to play. The Owls turned the ball over on their next possession and then fouled McNamara as she drove to the basket with 14 seconds to play. McNamara completed both free throws to give USM a narrow 58-56 lead. KSC hd two looks at the basket but a defensive rebound and a game-ending steal from Grant shut the door on the Owls.
Southern Maine travels to UMass Boston on Tuesday (5:30 p.m.).